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FBI Criminal History Checks for Employment and Licensing

The FBI’s authority to conduct a criminal history record check for non-criminal justice purposes is based upon Public Law (Pub. L.) 92-544. Pursuant to that law, the FBI is empowered to exchange criminal history record information with officials of state and local governments for employment, licensing, which includes volunteers, and other similar non-criminal justice purposes, if authorized by a state statute which has been approved by the Attorney General of the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice has advised that the state statute establishing guidelines for a category of employment or the issuance of a license must, in itself, require fingerprinting and authorize the governmental licensing or employing agency to exchange fingerprint data directly with the FBI.

A criminal history record search obtained pursuant to U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 may not meet employment requirements. Governmental licensing or employing agencies covered by federal laws and/or state statutes may refuse to accept criminal history record information directly from the subject of the record, as there would be no way to verify that the information contained on the record had not been altered. Also, a record provided to the subject for personal review contains only information maintained by the CJIS Division and may lack dispositional data and/or arrest records that are maintained only at the state level.

You should contact the agency requiring the fingerprinting or the appropriate state identification bureau for the correct procedures to follow.

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Challenge of a Criminal Record

Once you have received and reviewed your record response, if you believe it contains inaccurate or incomplete information, you may request a change or correction by contacting the agency or agencies that submitted the information to the FBI, or you may send a written challenge request to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. The CJIS Division serves as the nation's central repository and custodian for fingerprints and related criminal history record information. As custodian of such arrest information, the CJIS Division does not have the authority to modify any criminal history record information unless specifically notified to do so by the owner of the information.

Missing or Incorrect State (Non-Federal) Information

Most states, through agreements with the FBI, require that modification requests be processed through their respective state central repository for criminal history records (state bureau) before submission to the FBI. Several states, however, maintain their own records system, which the FBI accesses for authorized purposes, and record updates are made at the state level only. Contact information specific to each state is provided on the State Identification Bureau listing. You may contact respective state repositories for assistance and, if applicable, request that they provide the FBI with updates to your arrest record data.

Missing or Incorrect Federal Information

For federal arrest updates, the FBI must receive a request directly from the original arresting agency, from a court with jurisdiction over the arrest data, or from other agency of competent jurisdiction.

Challenges Submitted to the FBI

You may submit a record challenge to the FBI's CJIS Division by writing to the following address:

FBI CJIS Division
Attention: Correspondence Group
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306

Your written request should clearly identify the information that you feel is inaccurate or incomplete and should include copies of any available proof or supporting documentation to substantiate your claim. For example, if your disposition information is incorrect or missing, you may submit documentation obtained from the court having jurisdiction over the arrest or the office prosecuting the offense. The Correspondence Group will contact appropriate agencies in an attempt to verify or correct challenged entries for you. Upon receipt of an official communication from the agency with jurisdiction over the data, the FBI will make appropriate changes and notify you of the outcome. Record challenges submitted to the FBI are processed in the order in which they are received.

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Pauline Quirion /FBI search.Nov. 2011

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